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Mother’s Day spending: What are we buying, where are we shopping?

by | May 10, 2017 | Marketing, Public Relations

Has Mom ever been so loved? Not by retail consumers, who say they will increase their Mother’s Day spending more than ever this year as they shower their life-givers with everything from jewelry to special outings at favorite restaurants, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Mother’s Day shoppers are expected to spend an average of $186.39 for the holiday, up from last year’s $172.22. With 85 percent of consumers surveyed celebrating the holiday, total spending is expected to reach $23.6 billion—the highest number in the survey’s 14-year history, topping last year’s previous record of $21.4 billion.

“With spring in full bloom, many Americans are looking forward to splurging on their mothers,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay, in a news release. “Retailers will be ready with a wide range of gift options and a variety of promotions for their customers.”

What are we buying? According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $5 billion on jewelry (purchased by 36 percent of shoppers), $4.2 billion on special outings such as dinner or brunch (56 percent), $2.6 billion on flowers (69 percent), $2.5 billion on gift cards (45 percent), $2.1 billion on clothing (37 percent), $2 billion on consumer electronics (15 percent) and $1.9 billion on personal services such as a spa day (24 percent).

The overall increase is expected to be driven largely by spending on jewelry, which is up 19 percent, and personal services, up 15 percent.

When it comes to “gifts of experience” such as tickets to a concert, 28 percent want to receive such a gift, compared with 24 percent last year. Younger consumers in particular may be looking to create a special memory, with nearly half under the age of 35 planning to give such a gift.

“Consumers are opening up their wallets a little bit more to celebrate the women with the most important jobs in the world on Mother’s Day,” said Prosper principal analyst Pam Goodfellow, in the release. “We will see older Millennials (25-34) spend the most, and younger consumers will put their online shopping skills to good use to purchase the perfect gift.”

Where are we buying it? When searching for that perfect gift, 35 percent of consumers will head to department stores and 31 percent will shop at specialty stores such as florists, jewelers or electronics stores, while 24 percent plan to shop at a local small business. Meanwhile, 30 percent will shop online, up from 27 percent last year. Among smartphone owners, 34 percent will research gift ideas on their phones while 19 percent will use them to make a purchase.

The survey, which asked 7,406 consumers about their Mother’s Day plans, was conducted April 4-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

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